20 Creative and Amazing Photography Hacks to Try Today

Discovering creative photography hacks can significantly enhance your skills without requiring a substantial investment in expensive equipment. In a rapidly evolving industry like photography, it’s essential to stay updated on the latest techniques and accessories. While professional photographers may seem to have an extensive arsenal of cameras and lenses, you can achieve remarkable results with just a smartphone or a standard DSLR camera in combination with unique photoshoot settings.

Speaking of unique settings, Peerspace is a remarkable resource in this regard. As the leading online marketplace for peer-to-peer venue rentals, Peerspace offers thousands of photogenic spaces available for hourly bookings. Whether you’re looking for a professional portrait studio owned by a fellow photographer or a distinctive creative space curated by a designer, Peerspace has an array of options near you. Exploring the available venues might just inspire your next photography project! To provide you with a taste of what’s possible, here are 20 of our favorite creative photography hacks, accompanied by stunning photos captured at real Peerspace venues.


1. DIY Underwater Housing: Affordable Techniques for Underwater Photography

If you’re eager to capture stunning underwater shots but don’t want to invest in expensive underwater housing or risk using cheap alternatives that might leak, here’s a simple yet effective solution. All you need is a clear glass or plastic cup for your smartphone or a larger vase or fish tank for bigger cameras. Carefully place your device inside the cup or tank, ensuring the lens is submerged below the water’s surface. With this setup, you can now capture mesmerizing images of your subjects in pools, bathtubs, or any aquatic environment. Just remember to exercise caution and avoid dropping the cup or tank during your underwater photography adventures.


2. Vaseline: Adding a Dreamy Glow to Your Portraits

Want to give your subjects a soft, ethereal glow without relying solely on heavy makeup or excessive post-processing? Take a page out of the early days of Hollywood cinematography and experiment with the timeless technique of using Vaseline. Instead of directly applying it to your lens, which could be difficult to clean, apply a thin layer onto a filter or a piece of clear plastic. By doing so, you can achieve a dreamlike effect, reminiscent of classic movies. Let your creativity flow and explore the magical ambiance Vaseline can lend to your portraits.

3. Bokeh Shapes: Crafting Unique Visual Effects

The term “bokeh” originates from the Japanese word meaning “blur.” It refers to the aesthetic quality of the out-of-focus areas in an image. By using a simple black poster board, you can create captivating bokeh shapes to add a touch of whimsy to your photographs. Cut out shapes such as tiny circles or stars and cover your lens with the poster board, allowing the light to filter through the cutouts. Experiment with different focal lengths and discover the captivating bokeh patterns that enhance your images. For further inspiration, dive deeper into the world of bokeh and its endless possibilities.


4. DIY ND Filter: Exploring Long-Exposure Photography

Neutral density (ND) filters are essential tools for achieving long-exposure effects, but they can be quite expensive. Here’s a budget-friendly alternative using readily available materials: welding glass. Visit your local hardware store and acquire a piece of welding glass, which can serve as a makeshift ND filter. By placing the welding glass in front of your lens, you can capture captivating black and white long-exposure images. If you’re seeking inspiration for your monochromatic endeavors, explore a curated collection of black and white photoshoot ideas.

5. Pantyhose or Stocking Filter: Adding Color and Diffusion

When you desire to infuse your images with a subtle touch of color or diffusion, a nylon stocking becomes a versatile tool. Simply stretch the stocking over your lens and secure it with a rubber band, and you’ll have your very own DIY lens filter. Opt for white stockings to achieve a neutral effect or experiment with more vibrant colors to create unique visual styles. Unleash your creativity and see how this simple accessory can transform your photographs.


6. DIY Lightbox: Crafting a Budget-Friendly Solution

For product photography or capturing well-lit images of small objects, a lightbox is indispensable. However, you don’t have to spend a fortune to acquire one. With a few basic materials such as a cardboard box and plain white fabric, you can create your own DIY lightbox. By cutting windows in the box and covering them with the white fabric, you’ll have a soft, diffused light source for your subjects. Save yourself a significant sum of money and unleash your inner handyman or handywoman with this easy-to-make solution using everyday items.


7. Plastic Quart Bag: Creating a Mystical Haze

If you’re aiming for a mystical and hazy effect in your photographs, a simple plastic quart bag can work wonders. By covering your lens with the bag, you can achieve a DIY haze effect that adds a touch of magic to your images. Experiment with different lighting conditions and compositions to create captivating and otherworldly atmospheres.

Landscape Photography

8. Fishing Wire: Adding Lens Flare to Outdoor Shots

Lens flare can breathe life into outdoor landscape shots, infusing them with a sense of depth and atmosphere. To create this effect, attach a thin length of fishing wire across your lens. The wire itself won’t be visible in the final image, but it will catch and scatter light, generating beautiful lens flares. Embrace the subtle art of manipulating light and explore the unique results you can achieve with this technique.

Food Photography

9. Shoot Through Wool: Framing Your Subjects Softly

To give your subjects a delicate and soft frame, reach for your favorite holiday sweater or any other woolen fabric. Stretch the wool in front of your lens, ensuring that your subject’s face remains in focus while the wool blurs the surrounding edges. This technique adds a cozy and intimate feel to your photographs, enhancing the connection between your subject and their surroundings.

Food Photography

10. Tilt-Shift Apps: Unlocking the World of Miniature Models

Tilt-shift lenses can be quite expensive, but fret not. Many smartphone apps, including popular platforms like Instagram, now offer tilt-shift options. These features allow you to replicate the surreal and captivating look of miniature models in your photographs. With just a few taps, you can add depth-of-field effects and create a whimsical atmosphere that transports your viewers into a tiny world of wonder.

So go ahead and explore these DIY photography techniques that offer creative alternatives to expensive equipment. Unleash your imagination, experiment with different materials, and let your photographs tell stories that transcend their humble origins. Remember, the most important ingredient in any photograph is your unique vision and the passion you bring to the craft.


11. Experiment with Shadows

Shoot through a tea strainer to add an artistic touch to your photography. By holding a tea strainer up in front of the lens, you can cast intriguing shadows on your model’s face. For different effects, try varying the distance between the strainer and the subject to create unique patterns and visual interest. This simple technique can add a layer of creativity to your images.

Food Photography

12. Enhance Macro Photography with Your Smartphone

Transform your smartphone into a powerful tool for macro photography. Take apart an old laser pointer or DVD player and extract the tiny macro lens hidden inside. Attach the lens to your smartphone by either super-gluing it to a phone case or securing it with a rubber band and popsicle stick. With this setup, you can capture stunning close-up shots, exploring intricate details and textures. Check out comprehensive guides for more ideas on incorporating texture into your photography.


13. Magnify with Reading Glasses

Unleash your creativity by utilizing everyday objects. If you have spare reading glasses lying around, tape them in front of your smartphone’s camera lens to achieve a magnifying effect. This simple hack can replicate the fascinating qualities of lensball photography without the need for expensive equipment. Dive into the world of magnification and capture captivating shots with minimal investment.


14. Craft Your Own Beauty Dish

A beauty dish is a popular tool in studio photography, casting soft and diffused light onto the subject. Create your own version using readily available materials. Grab a plastic soup dish and cover it with aluminum foil to mimic the effect of a professional beauty dish. Discover additional ideas and techniques for capturing the best beauty photography with this DIY setup.

Nature Photography

15. Create Lens Flares with a CD or DVD

Transport your photography back to the nostalgic ’90s era with this creative hack. Grab a CD and hold it in front of your camera, allowing it to reflect light back into the lens. This technique produces captivating lens flares that appear to dance and move unpredictably. Embrace the vintage charm and add a touch of whimsy to your images with this playful trick.


16. Seamless Tethering

Shooting in tight spaces can limit your ability to closely inspect the viewfinder while capturing images. Overcome this challenge by tethering your camera to your computer. Utilize Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity to link your camera and computer, enabling real-time image preview and evaluation. This efficient workflow not only saves time but can also be a cost-effective solution, especially when shooting in a studio where fees may apply.


17. Peer-to-Peer Gear Rental

Don’t burden yourself with hefty rental house fees for equipment. Explore peer-to-peer rental services like Kitsplit, where you can rent gear from fellow photographers in your local community. Additionally, when booking a photoshoot location through Peerspace, you may find venues equipped with the necessary gear. In case the venue lacks specific equipment, rely on the Peerspace Concierge service to source and deliver the required gear directly to your chosen location.


18. Discover the “Netflix” of Camera Gear

Wondering how the Peerspace Concierge service operates? The team has established a network of trusted local vendors. When you request a specific piece of gear, the Concierge service rents it from these experts, granting you access to a wide range of equipment without any hassle. Furthermore, they conveniently deliver the gear to your chosen venue, ensuring a seamless and uninterrupted photoshoot experience.


19. Unlock Indoor Shooting Locations

When faced with challenges like insufficient natural light or unfavorable weather conditions, consider booking a studio or artist loft through Peerspace. These indoor locations provide ample space and customizable settings for your photoshoots. Embrace the versatility of indoor environments and capture stunning imagery regardless of external factors.


20. Optimize Social Media Presence

Leverage social media platforms like Instagram to promote your photography business effectively. Instead of manually posting photos from your smartphone every day, streamline your workflow by utilizing scheduling tools like Later. Plan and schedule a week’s worth of posts in advance, ensuring a consistent and engaging online presence. Familiarize yourself with the most Instagrammable places in your city to provide your followers with captivating content that resonates with their interests.

iPhone Photo Hacks

21. Monetize Your Skills

Capitalize on your photography talents by selling stock photographs. Sign up for reputable platforms such as Shutterstock or Twenty20, where customers can license your photos for various purposes, while you earn royalties. This additional income stream allows you to monetize your work and potentially reach a wider audience. Take advantage of these platforms to showcase and commercialize your photography skills.

By incorporating these innovative techniques and resourceful strategies into your photography practice, you can enhance your creativity, optimize your workflow, and explore new avenues for professional growth.